Our injuries don’t define us. We make the best of our injuries.” – Corporal Kionte Storey, Unites States Marine Corps
As you watch Corporal Kionte Storey running windsprint after windsprint, it’s easy to see that he’s a retired marine with a goal.
If you watched an hour of the documentary-in-progress, as we did, that Cirina Catania, founder/lead creative of The Catania Group, has been working on for several months, you quickly realize he has dozens of goals and will probably achieve all of them.
On the track nearly every day, he’s determined to prove that he has what it takes to not only participate but to win in a future Paralympics and will hopefully even represent his country in the 100, 200 and 400m sprint events in the 2016 International Paralympics.
It’s almost impossible to watch the film footage of him today and understand the toll the loss of his lower right leg to an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan in September of 2010 took on him and the mental scars he carries with him even today.
Like so many men and women who return home wounded, recovery was a long and painful (physically and mentally) process.
With his mom constantly by his side, he recovered at Bethesda Naval Medical Center before being transferred to San Diego.
He seldom shared the depression that was weighing on him, instead telling others (and reminding himself), “It could have been worse. It is what it is and there’s nothing you can do but move forward.”
He’s delighted that Cirina is doing his documentary; not for himself, but to encourage the thousands of wounded service men and women who also experience the physical/mental trauma and to help others have a better understanding.
During his early recovery, he would wear his “happy face” everywhere except his barracks room. There, he’d swing from guilt for not being there for his Marine brothers and depression so deep, dark he frightened even himself (www.kiontestorey.com).
Knowing he was going into a deep hole he might never climb out of, he went cold turkey on the prescription pain/depression pills and started attending Paralympics sports camps.